Curtis Meyer reporter
Another week, another resounding victory for the Pitt State Gorillas on Saturday, as the offense ran rampant for a 55-6 win over the University of Sioux Falls North Dakota Cougars. All three phases of the game were coordinated, with six different offensive players finding the endzone, a 100-yard kickoff return, and with the defense only giving up two field goals in the third quarter.
Overall, it was a dominant game for a Gorilla squad that is ready for the playoffs. As things sit, Pitt State is currently in sole possession of first place in the MIAA conference and needs to just win one of the next two games to guarantee the MIAA title.
The Gorillas are currently ranked #2 in the country, giving them a home field advantage in the playoffs for their super region. If the Gorillas were to lose, #3 Grand Valley would slide past the Gorillas and own the home field advantage.
This is all to say that the next two games on the schedule for Pitt State are immensely important, and it starts this Saturday with a game against #23 Missouri Western. The Griffons are currently 6-2 and would need to win out and need Central Missouri, Fort Hays, and Pitt State to lose out to come out as MIAA champions.
While that is unlikely, a big win against Pitt State and a couple of losses by Central Missouri could put them in the postseason, so they face a must win game. The Gorillas will have to be ready to play their best on the road against the Griffons to avoid an upset.
The Griffons boast the number 2 offense and number three defense in the MIAA, with their two losses coming by narrow margins to Northwest Missouri and to Central Missouri. One of the driving forces for the Griffons defense has been their ability to put pressure on the quarterback, evidenced by their 24 sacks on the season.
Pressure on the quarterback can cause erroneous throws, and the Griffons defense has taken advantage of that with eight interceptions this season. The script is flipped for the Gorillas, as they only have seven sacks so far this season, but have a whopping sixteen interceptions, including two last week against Sioux falls.
While Pitt State has one of the best defensive units in the country, let alone the MIAA, the Griffons are not far behind. Pitt State opponents are averaging 15.3 points per game, while Missouri Western is holding them to 21.4.
On the offensive side of the ball, Missouri Western holds a slight edge, averaging 38.9 points per game while Pitt State sits at 37.1 average points. Missouri Western leans on their rushing attack, leading the MIAA currently, while Pitt State sits at third.
It all adds up to an exciting matchup full of playoff and seeding implications for both teams. The Gorillas will look to keep the victory train rolling on the road against the Griffons in what will be an important game for both teams.